Alianza Mundial por el Suelo

Soil biodiversity photo & video contest

A heartfelt thanks to all participants of the Soil Biodiversity contest.

In the framework of the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI), FAO, and its Global Soil Partnership (GSP) launched a photo and video contest on soil biodiversity. 

Unfortunately, due to the world pandemic, GSOBI has been postponed to February 2020. In light of the Symposium, the soil biodiversity photo and video contest helped push the soil biodiversity agenda further to the public.  



Soil biodiversity is the variety in soil life, a melting pot of genes, communities, and the ecological complexes of which they are connected to life below ground. Soil biota constitutes the greatest concentration of biomass of any part of the planet and comprises an immeasurable amount of mega, macro, meso, and microorganisms. This diverse community of living organisms keeps the soil healthy and fertile. Soil organisms both serve as sources of nutrients for plant growth and drive the transformations of nutrients that make them available to plants. 


The contest's main objective was to promote and increase visibility to soil organisms' importance, raise awareness on the urgency of protecting soil biodiversity, and encourage engagement and participation of a broader audience concerning soil biodiversity through Social media. 

After receiving nearly 700 pictures & videos from more than 50 countries, the secretariat and its partners selected five finalists from both categories, mega & macrofauna, and meso & microfauna. The shortlisted entries were then posted on FAO's main social media account for a two-week public voting session. The entries received an enthusiastic appreciation with a total of 6,866 likes, 726 comments and 693 shares. 

Winners of the soil biodiversity contest:

  • Mega & Macrofauna: Akshara Samarasuriya (Termites­ – Sri Lanka) 
  • Meso & Microfauna: Eric Palesvky ( Meloidogyne – Israel) 

The finalists of the Soil Biodiversity Contest: 

Mega & Macrofauna

  • Pinarsita Juliana (Woodlice – Indonesia)
  • Sergii Dymchenko (Arion Rufus – United States) 
  • Lorenzo Tognetti (Earthworms – Italy) 
  • Alessandra Málory Arrazola Cespedes (Coleoptera – Bolivia)  

Meso & Microfauna 

  • Eric Palesvky (Stratiolaelaps Scrimitus – Israel) 
  • Kenta Sugiura (Tardigrade – Japan) 
  • Felicity Crotty (Pseudoscorpion – United Kingdom) 
  • Sarah L. Bluhm (Allacma Fusca – Germany) 


Discover the Flickr photogallery of the best pictures received! 

Keep soil alive, Protect soil biodiversity.